There are several grottoes and cisterns in and around Beit Sahour. The Virgin Mary Well, Bir As-Sydah, is situated in the Old Centre of the city and is the deepest and most important of them all. It was created by Jacob, the son of Isaac (who was Abraham’s son). The Virgin Mary, while on her way to Egypt, passed by this well and, being thirsty, asked to be given a drink from a pail of water because the well was so deep. Suddenly, the water in the well rose up of its own accord and the Virgin was able to drink directly from it. This cistern is famous as the scene of many traditional miracles. It is a religious endowment belonging to the whole city and the Municipality has built a shrine over the cistern expressly for the use of Christians of all denominations. It is also highly revered by many Muslims. Inside, the walls are covered with icons and paintings of Christian subjects given by worshippers; but randomly scattered amongst these, there is an abundance of other gifts and pictures.